SRINAGAR: An army man, a BSF jawan and a 38-year-old woman were killed in Pakistani troops firing and mortar shelling on Indian posts and civilian areas in Jammu and Kashmir, triggering migration in border areas.
“Pakistani troops fired Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) towards Indian posts and pickets at Sira ridge, Shamsabari Range along Line of Control (LoC) in Tangdhar sector in North Kashmir at around 5.15 pm yesterday,” army spokesman in Srinagar said.
He said an army man and BSF jawan were killed in the Pakistani troops attack.
“Our troops are effectively responded to Pakistani firing,” the spokesman said.
Pakistani troops also fired on almost all Indian posts along International Border (IB) in Hira Nagar sector of Kathua district and Samba in the night and in the morning.
IG BSF Rakesh Sharma told Express that Pakistani troops fired from light to heavy weapons on 30 Indian posts and civilian areas along International Border (IB) in Samba and Hira Nagar sector in Kathua district since 9.30 pm yesterday.
He said firing from Pakistani side continued throughout the night and was effectively returned with similar-calibre weapons by BSF. “The Pakistani firing continued till 3 am.”
“Pakistani troops again fired from automatic weapons and resorted to mortar shelling on Indian posts and civilian areas from 7 am to 1 pm. The alert BSF men gave befitting reply to them,” he said.
It was for the first time that Pakistani troops targeted Indian posts and civilian areas in the day.
IG BSF said a woman was killed and eight others injured in the Pakistani firing and shelling.
Another BSF official said 38-year-old Tosha Rani died when a mortar shell fired by Pakistani troops landed in the compound of her house at village Mangu Check, Samba.
“The woman had been cleaning the compound of her house in the afternoon, when the shell landed there,” he said adding her 12-year old son Rahul Shama sustained splinter injuries and was hospitalised.
He said two more persons sustained in Pakistani firing and shelling in Samba sector.
“Five more people including two women Rajni Devi, 30, wife of Prem Kumar and Madhu Bala wife of Pawan Kumar were injured in Pakistani firing and shelling in Hira Nagar sector of Kathua district,” the official said adding many houses in Samba and Hira Nagar suffered damage in the shelling.
Pakistani troops have been breaching border ceasefire on daily basis and firing on Indian posts since December 31, when four of their soldiers were killed in retaliatory firing by Indian border guards in Regal Post in Samba sector.
A BSF man was also killed in the gunfight with Pakistani troops.
When asked whether BSF has rushed additional men to its posts on border with Pakistan, IG BSF said, “We have already reinforced our posts”.
The daily firing and shelling by Pakistani troops has forced border people in Samba and Kathua districts to shift to safer places. Hundreds of people have migrated to safer places.
According to officials, 15 temporary shelter camps have been established in Samba district for people, who migrate from villages adjacent to border.
They said all necessary arrangements have been taken for safeguarding the life and property of the border people. “Addl SP Samba has been asked to provide bullet proof vehicles for shifting of people from zero line to safer zones.”
The officials further said buses along with security men have been deputed to Bobiyan, Pansar, Paharpur and Lachipura in Kathua for safe evacuation of the people. “Relief camps have also been made operational at Hiranagar and Marheen,” they said adding relief measures under “Mission Hifazat” are being taken by the administration.
The official said 300 people from Hira Nagar have been shifted to relief camps.